© 2021 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
News Partners

Fergie Apologizes After Her National Anthem Rendition Goes Wrong

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Let's be honest. Singing the national anthem is hard. Most people would have a tough time performing it in their living room in front of their cat, much less in front of a worldwide audience. Still, just about everyone thought Fergie's rendition before Sunday night's NBA All-Star Game was really awful.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

FERGIE: (Singing) Oh, say, can you see by the dawn's early light...

SHAPIRO: The multiple Grammy award winner said afterwards she was trying to do something new with her slower, jazzier version. You could tell early on by the athletes staring blankly or trying to hide laughs on TV that the experiment was not working.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

FERGIE: (Singing) Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say...

SHAPIRO: The whole performance just lasted about two minutes, which was more than enough time for everyone watching to roast Fergie on all the social media platforms. Even the comedian Roseanne Barr took a shot at her on Twitter. Yes, that Roseanne who once sang the national anthem like this.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ROSEANNE BARR: (Singing) For the land of the free and the home of the brave.

SHAPIRO: Well, Fergie issued an apology last night for her performance. She wrote, I wanted to try something special for the NBA. I'm a risk taker artistically, but clearly this rendition didn't strike the intended tone. I love this country and honestly tried my best. But hey, did she really need to apologize when this version from Olympic champion Carl Lewis exists?

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CARL LEWIS: (Singing) And the rockets' red glare - uh-oh - the bombs bursting in air...

SHAPIRO: Further proof that no matter how badly the national anthem is mangled, there will always be a worse version - always.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

LEWIS: (Singing) For the land of the free...

(BOOING)

LEWIS: (Singing) And the home of the...

SHAPIRO: We'll be back with something a little less painful here on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.